By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
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By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Jeff Gillette, Dirty Vegas(2004) Courtesy Dirt GalleryMarsea Goldberg and New Image Art Marsea Goldberg is quintessential L.A. bohemia — a sun-kissed, middle-aged surfer-girl Jewess, with a small streak of anarchy in her hair, who sampled all the dishes in the big buffet of life before accidentally sinking her teeth into the main course. New Image Art gallery started in 1994 in Goldberg’s 10-by-10-foot surf-wear design studio when some of her friends needed walls on which to hang art. Having formerly been a painter-who-showed, Goldberg was sympathetic. “I was slacking and I had this studio and my friends asked if they could put their art up and I said, ‘Yeah, if you clean the room.’ I wasn’t planning on this, but it snowballed.” What it snowballed into is thelocal way station for hobo artists hopping trains on their way from obscurity to something in the vicinity of, well, if not fame and fortune, then at least some notoriety. New Image exists more or less to give promising artists, most without means or pedigrees, a break. She can lay claim to either breaking or propelling the careers of such nouveau “outsider” art stars as Ed Templeton, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson, the late Rebecca Westcott, Neckface, et al. Goldberg ain’t getting rich either, housing, feeding and packing the lunches of these kids before they head off into the big, bad art world, but that’s okay with her. “I have the life I want,” she says. “It’s not about money. It’s about moving the art forward.” 7908 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 654-2192. (Joe Donnelly)
Goldberg (center) with artists at New Image Art Photo by Kevin ScanlonJoe Goode In his intricately textured paintings and works on paper, Joe Goode processes the actual experience of nature, taking viewers under water, up trees, behind waterfalls, into tornadoes and within wafts of smog. His new painted photographs re-examine various themes from the past, putting a new conceptual spin on his longtime study of perceptual illusion. With works that are both sensuous and intelligent, Goode is L.A.’s most sophisticated abstract artist. (MD) Griffin Contemporary, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Daniel Weinberg Gallery The most informative, and certainly the most pleasurable, group of galleries in New York isn’t in Chelsea but uptown, where many art emporia specialize in yesterday’s avant-gardes and in the current, ever-vital work of artists who you thought died years ago. There are few such galleries in Los Angeles, but they are growing in number and sophistication. West Hollywood has seen the best local concentration of them, but now you can find several good ones near LACMA — logically enough — and even out in Santa Monica. Griffin Contemporary, in the latter location, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art and the Daniel Weinberg Gallery, in the former, all show younger contemporaries, but in all three cases, their strong suit has become the art and artists of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, notably the ones you hadn’t ever heard of or hadn’t thought of since you were in school. A few months ago, Griffin mounted a delicious show of West Coast minimalism (which market gallerist Bill Griffin seems intent on cornering), and just recently hung a roomful of excellent, rarely seen Rauschenbergs. For their part, Selwyn and Weinberg just joined forces to take a look back at Sir Anthony Caro’s expansive abstract sculpture from 1965 to 1985. Weinberg also has a preference for some of New York’s quirkier talents — Pop painter John Wesley, color-field Ă©minence grise Paul Feeley, post-minimalist Ralph Humphrey, even post-post-minimalist Tom Nozkowski — while Selwyn is the place to go for the work of the late, local Lee Mullican and various other late-modern masters from either side of the Atlantic whose work on paper invariably graces the backrooms. Everything post- is neo- again. Griffin, 2902 Nebraska Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 586-6886; Selwyn, 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (2004), new acquisition, Museum of Modern Art, New York
(323) 933-9911. Weinberg, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., #8, (323) 954-8425. (PF) Mark Grotjahn Persistence pays off. I was initially skeptical of the clunky geometric abstraction of Mark Grotjahn’s rainbow-perspective paintings, but his project of trading shopkeepers’ sloppy signage for his own tidied-up versions and his recent show at Blum & Poe — particularly the COBRA-esque Untitled (Blue Face Grotjahn) — won me over. If that doesn’t make you take notice, maybe the fact that MOMA keeps buying him will. (DH)
To read part two of the story, from Tim Hawkinson to Laura Owens click here.
To read part three of the story, from Jennifer Pastor to Diana Zlotnick click here.